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Tablet PC Go-to-Market Challenges

Recently, we wrote about the challenges of selling tablet PCs through wireless carriers. The broader CE retail industry may also be struggling to market these devices as well. Last week’s Best Buy circular exemplified one of the key challenges for tablet PC makers and their retail partners: educating and marketing this new product segment to mainstream consumers. Overcoming this obstacle is important for helping this promising high-growth category reach its full potential.

The circular included two highly touted devices: RIM’s PlayBook and Motorola’s Xoom.  What was noteworthy was the placement of the devices.  The Wi-Fi enabled PlayBook was included with the smartphones (page 11), even though it doesn’t have 3G connectivity nor does it tether to a BlackBerry phone as many expected. Meanwhile the Wi-Fi version of the Xoom (the 3G enabled version wasn’t included in the circular) was included with the PC accessories (page 18).

This simple example illustrates what we have been hearing from brands and retailers; they’re having trouble categorizing tablets and properly marketing the devices to consumers.  This isn’t the first time technology companies have had issues with selling new devices to consumers, but the longer it takes for brands and retailers to figure it out, the longer it will take for a viable competitor to challenge Apple’s dominance in this category.

This also highlights Apple’s distinct advantage when it comes to distributing a product and is likely to continue to be the case going forward.  Apple’s retail environment is able to not only better explain its tablet, the iPad, to consumers through dedicated sales people but Apple also captures more margin than competitors who have to share margin with retail partners.  This makes it tougher for rivals to compete on price and awareness with Apple, which is especially important as we move further and further into a new era of computing where the traditional lines of definition and differentiation are blurring.

The confusion regarding how to classify tablets isn’t just limited to distribution.  Internal groups within brands are in conflict as to which product group owns the devices.  In the case of Samsung, the mobile PC groups have been fighting over who gets to claim ownership of the tablet space. 

At the moment, go-to-market appears to be an inhibitor to growth for tablets as brands and retail partners figure out how best to sell this new class of device to the mainstream market.  However, go-to-market needs to be a catalyst for tablets to reach the shipment potential of the category.  What’s evident is that retailers aren’t even sure how to classify tablets in their weekend circulars, so Apple will continue to dominate the market, and rivals will have a hard time marketing their devices to consumers in the most effective way possible.

Tags:

  • http://www.howtointernetme.com/2011/04/why-no-one-lines-up-for-the-motorola-xoom.html Why no one lines up for the Motorola Xoom

    [...] In short, an Apple Store experience it’s not. “It pales in comparison to the way the iPad is demonstrated,” Shim said. (Shim writes about this in his blog also.) [...]

  • http://www.hotk.info/?p=524 Why no one lines up for the Motorola Xoom | Teck Talk

    [...] In short, an Apple Store experience it’s not. “It pales in comparison to the way the iPad is demonstrated,” Shim said. (Shim writes about this in his blog also.) [...]

  • http://www.androplex.com/04/02/why-no-one-lines-up-for-the-motorola-xoom/ Why no one lines up for the Motorola Xoom

    [...] In short, an Apple Store knowledge it’s not. “It pales in comparison to a approach a iPad is demonstrated,” Shim said. (Shim writes about this in his blog also.) [...]

  • http://androidbaba.co.in/?p=778 Why no one lines up for the Motorola Xoom

    [...] In short, an Apple Store experience it’s not. “It pales in comparison to the way the iPad is demonstrated,” Shim said. (Shim writes about this in his blog also.) [...]

  • http://nganjukcyber.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/why-no-one-lines-up-for-the-motorola-xoom/ Why no one lines up for the Motorola Xoom « NganjukCyber

    [...] In short, an Apple Store experience it’s not. “It pales in comparison to the way the iPad is demonstrated,” Shim said. (Shim writes about this in his blog also.) [...]

  • Mikke

    This is why I believe a retailer like Barnes and Noble can do very well with a low end tablet like the Nook Color. They have their own extensive retail chain, they can make space for Nooks without charging anything to themselves. They also have competent staff explaining what the Nook can do, and the Nook has a clear purpose – reading experience first, but good web browsing as well as second use. In stores with Nook space carved out, they have very good traction.

  • http://www.appleonline-ipad.org/?p=4189 Why no one lines up for the Motorola Xoom | Apple Online

    [...] In short, an Apple Store knowledge it's not. "It pales in comparison to a approach a iPad is demonstrated," Shim said. (Shim writes about this in his blog also.) [...]

  • http://www.vanisle-networks.com/news/why-no-one-lines-up-for-the-motorola-xoom/ Why no one lines up for the Motorola Xoom | Vanisle Networks

    [...] In short, an Apple Store experience it’s not. “It pales in comparison to the way the iPad is demonstrated,” Shim said. (Shim writes about this in his blog also.) [...]

  • http://www.cadabrapress.com/?p=5083 Why no one lines up for the Motorola Xoom

    [...] In short, an Apple Store knowledge it’s not. “It pales in comparison to a approach a iPad is demonstrated,” Shim said. (Shim writes about this in his blog also.) [...]

  • http://www.linuxeserver.org/?p=2923 Why no one lines up for the Motorola Xoom | Linux Tablet

    [...] In short, an Apple Store experience it’s not. “It pales in comparison to the way the iPad is demonstrated,” Shim said. (Shim writes about this in his blog also.) [...]

  • http://wp.go4onlineinfo.com/why-no-one-lines-up-for-the-motorola-xoom/ Why no one lines up for the Motorola Xoom | go4onlineinfo

    [...] In short, an Apple Store experience it’s not. “It pales in comparison to the way the iPad is demonstrated,” Shim said. (Shim writes about this in his blog also.) [...]

  • http://theoryreport.com/technology/apple/why-no-one-lines-up-for-the-motorola-xoom.html Why no one lines up for the Motorola Xoom « Apple « Technology « Theory Report

    [...] In short, an Apple Store knowledge it’s not. “It pales in comparison to a approach a iPad is demonstrated,” Shim said. (Shim writes about this in his blog also.) [...]

  • http://joeylakey.co.uk/blog/2011/04/why-no-one-lines-up-for-the-motorola-xoom/ Why no one lines up for the Motorola Xoom « The Joe Lake Blog The Joe Lake Blog

    [...] In short, an Apple Store experience it’s not. “It pales in comparison to the way the iPad is demonstrated,” Shim said. (Shim writes about this in his blog also.) [...]

  • http://jetlib.com/news/2011/04/04/apples-secret-weapon-to-win-the-tablet-wars/ Apple’s Secret Weapon To Win the Tablet Wars | JetLib News

    [...] where dedicated sales people are not only able to better explain its tablet to consumers but Apple also captures more margin than competitors who have to share margin with retail partners. Apparently, we are not going to see a repeat of the Android ambush of the smartphone market where [...]

  • http://www.silicon.de/silicon/technologie/mobile/0,39044013,41551268,00.htm Gibt es ein Tablet jenseits von Apple? | silicon.de

    [...] [...]

  • http://blogs.zdnet.com/computers/?p=5408 Intel: First Oak Trail tablets coming next month | ZDNet

    [...] Tablet PC Go-to-Market Challenges–DisplaySearch [...]

  • The Editor

    “The Wi-Fi enabled PlayBook was included with the smartphones (page 11), even though it doesn’t have 3G connectivity nor does it tether to a BlackBerry phone as many expected”

    Nope that is incorrect. The Playbook will tether to ANY phone… ANY… not just BlackBerries, that supports Bluetooth tethering. So you can tether to any phone that has a data plan and use it as a 3G modem for the Playbook. Your carrier can charge for this, or might offer free tethering (T Mobile).

    In addition to tethering the Playbook also support **bridging** to BlackBerry devices. Bridging allows the tablet to act as a remote display for the BlackBerry smart-phone’s core BlackBerry apps (email, BBM, Calendar, etc.). So you can use the larger screen of the Playbook to interact with these apps as they are running on your phone. And of course this can all occur even without being connected to the internet. Example, you could type up emails offline on an airplane using the Playbook. Your BB phone will save the emails in its offline queue and send them once carrier access is restored.

  • http://www.displaysearchblog.com Richard Shim

    Hi The Editor,

    Thank you for your comment. A user can connect a Playbook to any phone using Bluetooth and thanks for the clarification. My point was that the PlayBook isn’t a smartphone and doesn’t tether exclusively or seamlessly to a BlackBerry. While it’s certainly more convenient that it can tether to any phone as opposed to just BlackBerries, it also makes it less of an exclusive connected device experience and more of a standalone device.

    Richard

  • http://www.displaysearchblog.com/2011/04/best-buy-launches-tablet-central/ Best Buy Launches “Tablet Central” | DisplaySearch Blog

    [...] our local Best Buy, and hearing from others that they had similarly confusing shopping experiences, we outlined retailer distribution challenges that could inhibit tablet shipment growth. While we continue to believe that there are challenges [...]

  • http://fat32.net/2011/06/the-ipad-is-the-tablet-market-for-now/ The iPad is the tablet market, for now – FAT32

    [...] Buy and Staples won’t have a clue about why they might need a tablet, according to Shim, who has written about this, [...]

  • http://technews.motorcycle-world.info/?p=247 The iPad is the tablet market, for now – Technews

    [...] Buy and Staples won’t have a clue about why they might need a tablet, according to Shim, who has written about this, [...]

  • http://arunals.co.cc/read-the-ipad-is-the-tablet-market-for-now-151-40.php The iPad is the tablet market, for now | Arunals 2011 okpost

    [...] Buy and Staples won’t have a clue about why they might need a tablet, according to Shim, who has written about this, [...]

  • http://joeylakey.co.uk/blog/2011/06/the-ipad-is-the-tablet-market-for-now/ The iPad is the tablet market, for now « The Joe Lake Blog The Joe Lake Blog

    [...] Buy and Staples won’t have a clue about why they might need a tablet, according to Shim, who has written about this, [...]

  • http://dotmem.com/archives/2843 The iPad is the tablet market, for now – dotmem.com | random technology news, one post at a time

    [...] Buy and Staples won’t have a clue about why they might need a tablet, according to Shim, who has written about this, [...]

  • http://gadget.featster.com/the-ipad-is-the-tablet-market-for-now/ The iPad is the tablet market, for now | All Update Gadget Information

    [...] Staples won’t have a idea about because they competence need a tablet, according to Shim, who has written about this, [...]

  • http://tftelektronik.com/2011/the-ipad-is-the-tablet-market-for-now.html The iPad is the tablet market, for now | Tech News

    [...] Buy and Staples won’t have a clue about why they might need a tablet, according to Shim, who has written about this, [...]

  • http://cssdigitalworld.com/?p=309 The iPad is the tablet market, for now | Custom Software Solutions (Antigua)-Digital World

    [...] Buy and Staples won’t have a clue about why they might need a tablet, according to Shim, who has written about this, [...]

  • http://idevicesnews.com/the-ipad-is-the-tablet-market-for-now.html The iPad is the tablet market, for now | iDevices News

    [...] Buy and Staples won’t have a clue about why they might need a tablet, according to Shim, who has written about this, [...]

  • http://www.howtointernetme.com/2011/06/the-ipad-is-the-tablet-market-for-now.html The iPad is the tablet market, for now

    [...] Buy and Staples won’t have a clue about why they might need a tablet, according to Shim, who has written about this, [...]

  • http://www.vanisle-networks.com/news/the-ipad-is-the-tablet-market-for-now/ The iPad is the tablet market, for now | Vanisle Networks

    [...] Buy and Staples won’t have a clue about why they might need a tablet, according to Shim, who has written about this, [...]

  • http://bestreferencesforbuyers.co.tv/references/the-ipad-is-the-tablet-market-for-now/ The iPad is the tablet market, for now | bestreferencesforbuyers.co.tv

    [...] Staples won’t have a idea about because they competence need a tablet, according to Shim, who has written about this, [...]

  • http://nookforandroid.info/the-ipad-is-the-tablet-market-for-now/ The iPad is the tablet market, for now – Get Latest Information about Nook for Android, Android Handset and Application

    [...] Staples won’t have a idea about because they competence need a tablet, according to Shim, who has written about this, [...]

  • http://www.enipad.info/the-ipad-is-the-tablet-market-for-now/ The iPad is the tablet market, for now | Ipad Review – Enipad

    [...] &#1072b&#959&#965t wh&#1091 th&#1077&#1091 m&#1110ght need a tablet, according t&#959 Shim, wh&#959 h&#1072&#1109 written &#1072b&#959&#965t th&#1110&#1109, [...]

  • http://systemonkey.com/2011/06/19/the-ipad-is-the-tablet-market-for-now/ The iPad is the tablet market, for now « system-ON-key

    [...] Buy and Staples won’t have a clue about why they might need a tablet, according to Shim, who has written about this, [...]

  • http://apnajahanian.com/2011/06/20/the-ipad-is-the-tablet-market-for-now/ The iPad is the tablet market, for now | APNA JAHANIAN | City Portal

    [...] Buy and Staples won’t have a clue about why they might need a tablet, according to Shim, who has written about this, [...]

  • http://www.hottestinformation.com/2011/06/the-ipad-is-the-tablet-market-for-now/ The iPad is the tablet market, for now | Hottest Information on web. Latest Technology news.

    [...] Buy and Staples won’t have a clue about why they might need a tablet, according to Shim, who has written about this, [...]

  • http://silentdefender.co.uk/?p=3493 SilentDefender.co.uk » Blog Archive » The iPad is the tablet market, for now

    [...] Buy and Staples won’t have a clue about why they might need a tablet, according to Shim, who has written about this, [...]

  • http://watchyourinternettv.org/connected-tv-over-1-38-million-units-in-2015/ Connected TV over 1.38 million flat-panel TV units in 2015

    [...] Relations Phone :925 -336-9592 E-mail: Stacey (AT) savvypublicrelations (dot) net clear = "all" [caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image by Telstar Logistics via Flickr"][/cap...58e5743b_m.jpg" alt="Flat-panel TV display, Bic Camera store, Tokyo" width="240" height="180" [...]

  • http://www.displaysearchblog.com/2011/07/tablet-market-apple-vs-the-have-nots-2/ Tablet Market: Apple vs. the Have-Nots | DisplaySearch Blog

    [...] is certainly true considering the price moves that other players are also making. Also, there are limited resources for all of these players when it comes to shelf space and consumer attention. Finally, it will be [...]